Sunday, January 17, 2010

Author Interview: Stacey Jay (You Are So Undead to Me)

I'm so excited to announce my first interview with Stacey Jay! She is the author of You Are So Undead to Me and her sequel, Undead Much, which will be released next Thursday, Jan 21! In light of her upcoming release, Jay was kind enough to let me interview her.

A little about Stacey Jay (from her official author website):

Stacey Jay is a workaholic with three pen names, four kids, and a sick sense of humor. She loves creepies, crawlies, blood, guts, and gore, and of course, romance. What would a zombie novel--or any novel--be without kisses that make your toes tingle?
Stacey has been a full time writer since 2005 and can't think of anything she'd rather be doing. Her former careers include theatre performer, professional dancer, poorly paid C-movie actress, bartender, and waiter. She also spent some time selling time shares in Times Square and teaching Yoga in Los Angeles. 

1. What was your inspiration for You Are So Undead to Me?

A combination of too much Radio Disney (my stepdaughters wouldn’t let me listen to anything else for years), a love for paranormal romance, and a hunger for some scary supernatural bad guys with no fangs ;).

2. How did you want to portray Megan? Such as a heroic character with flaws or a normal girl with teenage problems?

Both! I wanted Megan to start off as a rather boy-crazy, popularity obsessed teenage girl and come into her own as a young woman who sees her bigger place in the world and realizes her heroic potential. I never wanted her to be perfect, however. I wanted her to be real, someone a reader could relate too even if they didn’t share her particular hang-ups.

3. Did you create Ethan from your image of an “ideal” boyfriend?

Ethan has several “ideal” characteristics—he’s caring, honest, brave, a good listener, and still manages to have a sense of humor—but he came about more as an answer to what Megan needed in a boyfriend than thinking about any certain ideal. Their romance is about them fitting together in a way they couldn’t fit with anyone else. And Ethan does have his flaws—jealousy, insecurity--which I think come out more in the second book as the relationship between Megan and Ethan progresses.

4. Can you give us a sneak peek into the sequel, Undead Much?

More zombies, romance, mystery, and some big secrets that will change Megan’s world forever. I’m so proud of Book 2. I hope readers enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

5. How long did it take you to write You Are So Undead to Me and Undead Much?

YOU ARE SO UNDEAD TO ME probably took 6 months to finally emerge in the form that is now available for sale. The first draft of UNDEAD MUCH? went much faster—probably because the characters were so familiar to me. I had that finished in six weeks and the final version didn’t change that much during the two rounds of edits.

6. After Undead Much is published, are there any other writing projects you’re planning to work on?

MY SO CALLED DEATH—the story of a freshman cheerleader who finds out she’s genetically undead (a zombie) and is sent to Dead High, a zombie boarding school where the kids eat brains for lunch and a murderer is out to frame the new girl—will be out in March 2010. It’s already available for pre-order on all the usual sites: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.

After that, my next Razorbill project will hit the shelves in January 2011. That book, presently titled, THE LOCKET, is the story of a shy girl, two perfect boys, and a very scary piece of jewelry that messes with the fabric of time. I’ve just finished first edits on that and can’t wait to share more with readers soon. I’m so excited about this project!

7. What are some ways that help you overcome writer’s block (if you have any)?

Butt in chair, hands on keys, get the words done or I don’t get to have any fun. I do this for a living so I don’t have the luxury of getting writer’s block! Lol.

8. On your bio, it says you’ve worked as an actress, dancer, waitress, all kinds of jobs. How did these experiences help you become a writer? What made you give up these jobs to become a writer?

When my first child was born, I realized I needed to find something more steady than flitting around from place to place, barely making enough money to eat, and working odd hours on low-budget film sets. I’d always been a writer and I hoped I’d be able to shift from playwriting to writing the romance novels I’d loved as a teen and make some money while still staying home with my new baby. The fact that the plan actually panned out is a miracle. One I’m thankful for every day.

9. If you had Settler powers like Megan, what kind of Unsettled people would you want to help Settle?

I’d want to help mend rifts in families. It’s so sad when someone dies and there is unfinished business and lingering bitterness left behind. I’d love to help bring those families peace. It sounds like a great job

10. Childhood/Adolescence: 
        a. Favorite book(s): Little Women
        b. Favorite celebrity: Megan Follows
        c. Favorite hobby: Ballet
        d. Worst School Subject: Trig! Ugh!
        e. Dream Job: Professional Pretender. (It didn’t end up the way I’d assumed, but I still get to pretend for a living. So amazing!)

Thanks for having me! All best and happy reading in 2010! Stacey Jay

Thanks, Stacey, for having an interview with me! Remember to read Undead Much, which will be released Jan. 21, or read You Are So Undead to Me, if you haven't done so already! You won't regret it!

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